The results of a busy May.

The results of a busy May.

The first day of the calendar summer has come! The weather surprises not only in Moscow! Weather conditions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, where we spent almost half of May with an expedition, were comfortable, like in April. I am not encouraging you to travel to the region in June and our usual summer months by any means, but, by tradition, I will share my impressions and discoveries: 

Emirates Palace by Mandarin Oriental Abu Dhabi. Here I am just trying to guess the name that the hotel will get after rebranding, which will coincide with the completion of renovation of one of the building’s wings. They promise a superb show and a party, which we will visit together with you. The hotel is unconditionally the best! I was especially amazed by the level of gastronomy and the thing that stuck in my memory the most is the breakfasts, which are very important for many of us! I can also recommend Hakasan and Talea by Antonio Guida. Private bee yard, tennis and paddle tennis, 1.3 km of private beach and much more! And if you compare prices with top competitors in Dubai, you will agree with me that the lesser popularity of Abu Dhabi compared to Dubai is partly a failure of the marketing department of the UAE Department of Tourism. By the way, USD 3 bln were invested in the construction of the hotel, without taking into account the renovation, which makes it the 3rd most expensive hotel in the world with the smallest number of rooms among its colleagues in the top three. 

St. Regis and Jumeirah (both Saadiyat island). We carried out an inspection and will complete it in full in August-September after staying in these hotels, but we are already willing to recommend paying close attention to them for those who are not yet familiar with the island . It is natural, which is quite rare in the region. And it is also fully protected by the government, for example, motorized water sports are prohibited there. There are many disputes whether Dubai can be considered a proper seaside resort, but no one has doubts about Saadiyat in this regard. The endless sea and magnificent sandy beaches, no lagoons and variety of “construction and other neighbor’s views”, and the price will be a pleasant surprise. 20-25 minutes of taxi drive and you are in Abu Dhabi, with Zuma and Nusr-et, Emirates Palace restaurants and many others! I highly recommend visiting the presidential palace in the evening to combine the tour with a wonderful light show! And also: Sheikh Mosque, Louvre, Yas island with Warner Brothers and Ferrari world parks. 

Nikki Beach Dubai. I know admirers of the hotel and the club among the club members and take this opportunity to say hi to them! The hotel staff is very cool, friendly and sincerely welcoming! You can feel at home! I recommend rooms with a direct sea view and starting from the suite category. There is an opinion that the music that always plays is inconvenient. It is not true: the music is not loud and not rough (but it should be taken into account when staying in the villas close to the club) and it plays until 20.00. Patry suite in the club and two additional restaurants in the hotel will be opened by the season start! The hotel is 5 years old and continues to develop dynamically, which is good news. Swimming conditions are good!

Atlantis the Palm. The hotel impresses with its scale, the size of the water park and how organic it is, how easy it is managed! I am sure that this is a top task! Hats off to the management! As for the food, I strongly recommend choosing rooms with access to the club lounge! And we are looking forward to the opening of new Royal Atlantis, a crazy project from all points of view, starting with the aesthetics. 

Fall in love once more? Quite possible. My son Vanya (he is 5 years old and quite experienced in travelling) is in love with the Mandarin Oriental Bodrum and we share his love unconditionally and sincerely, not only to the hotel, but the chain as a whole. During the check-in at the Mandarin Oriental Dubai, the concierge told me that this was the 10th hotel of the chain where I/we stayed. This is love actually. It should be noted that we stayed at the same time as one club member and shared only positive impressions of the hotel. There is a wonderful beach and no construction sites on the horizon (which is critical for Dubai), everything is spacious, the service is superb (which is not always equal to the price and/or hotel name) and the gastronomy is amazing - from breakfast to Netsu,Tasca and Sublimotion! 

We finish with the Emirates, where we also took part in a large specialized exhibition АТМ, inspected a number of new hotels, updated our knowledge and collected news about well-known hotels: Ritz Carlton (JBR), One&Only The Palm, Caesars Palace, Adress Beach, Bvlgari, Mina a Salam, Al Nasseem, Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Beach, Al Qasr, Four Seasons! As for new restaurant discoveries, I would recommend: Kayto, Sal and Tamoka (unique concept - Beach front restaurant). Now we are thinking about opening a local office (Affluence Dubai). It will take time, but we already have competences on relocation matters, purchase of real estate, opening companies and accounts.

 We are moving to the Maldives, where Aeroflot has finally come back (we flew back with the national carrier on May 21). 

Cheval Blanc Randheli. The hotel is loved and in demand by club members. It will reopen after a short break on July 23. Not always and not all luxury hotels have a connection. Not even awareness but some kind of continuation of the story that makes you waiting for a meeting with other Maison brands, loving and admiring those where you have already been, but have not studied them thoroughly on purpose, leaving an opportunity and wish to go back. This is similar to a favorite collection of books. Cheval Blanc Randheli is full of details, inimitable flavors and colors. It is rightfully loved and very much in demand. To get there during the high season is similar to find one of sought-after watches of a famous brand. But the best thing should be fought for, and it is worth it. Especially since you have us. 

Four Seasons Landa Giravaru. It will be fully renovated by October, but all works are performed in an isolated manner and not noticeable, so you can and should go there even today! Connection of generations and eternal fashion, uniqueness and universality of the location, initial importance of being authentic, and, as a result, relevance and demand, and only then the strength of the brand - this is how I understood and felt Four Seasons Landa Giravaru! This caused admiration and even stronger desire to get to know all the products of Four Seasons in the Maldives, which I will do in several months. I overheard about the owner’s desire and intention to open another hotel of the brand. Well, then soon we will be able to study the evolution of the luxury hotel industry of the Maldives through the history of Four Seasons hotels and products.

Waldorf Astoria Maldives. A project that combined many nuances and details to balance the variability and optionality of holidays, as cousins ​​in the 19th century, who did not get along, combined two of their hotels and created a unique hotel complex “Waldorf Astoria” in New York, starting a great brand. I admire the hotel and will get back there for sure, just as a number of club members. 

Jumeirah Maldives. Once, I did not manage to get to know personally the Lux North project in the Maldives, but I got familiar with its successor - the famous international brand Jumeirah! The period of transit and ultimate transformation will be over soon: it will be even better and more interesting! There are Kayto and Shimmers restaurants, which we are familiar with from Dubai, and another bold idea will soon come to life – I would definitely be there at its launch! Of course, I believe in a bright and stable future of the project, because the project GM is Mr. Ashraf. He made the Nautilus hotel very commercially successful and it could be achieved only by an actual top specialist. A dinner with him and discussion of future transformations left no doubts whatsoever. 

The report is finished! The club concierges will be happy to answer all your questions, share the details of expeditions, photos and videos and accept booking requests! Have a good summer!

Mikhail Gusev,

Club Founder and Managing Partner